Despite being constantly cited as a critical intervening variable in the recovery from alcohol problems, there is a paucity of literature on client motivation This paper reviews the current literature which impacts on motivation and its importance in treatment and develops in a stepwise manner the revised expectancy/motivation hypothesis, tentatively explaining both motivation and denial as a natural process in behavioural change Because of the revised expectancy/motivation hypothesis’ distinctly denned stages which closely relate to the process of nursing and the qualitative and quantitative measurement it entails which the nursing process demands, it offers a particularly appropriate model for treatment within nurse practice